Tips To a Kindergarten Teacher, From a Kindergarten Teacher

I am super excited about this blog post! For those of you who teach kindergarten, you know that is the most tired you will ever be, but it will be the most excited you will ever be. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. I LOVE kindergarten, and their pure joy and excitement for learning is what fuels me to become a better teacher. My job and kiddos rock!


HA! I love this quote! Sometimes it does feel this way!

I decided to link up with Sharing Kindergarten for this post about what tips I would share with other kindergarten teachers about kindergarten. Now, I don't have as much experience as most, but these are the tips that I thought were important to know when teaching kindergarten!

So, here are my tips for kindergarten teachers:



I think it is important to let students know that making a mistake will not be the end of the world. One of the very first things I talk about with my kinders on the first day is our behavior management system. We use the clip chart (they start on green, they can move down to yellow, orange, or red or they can move up to blue or yellow). I let them know that if they are on yellow, that it is not the end of the world. We ALL make mistakes (even Mrs. Ingram...I know...shocking), and it is what we learn from our mistakes that tells me what kind of student you are! If you make a mistake, and then you try to fix it, I will move your clip up. That tells me that you realized you made a mistake, and you are going to try your best not to do it again! I also try to pull a student who has been on yellow (or below) aside and explain to them that tomorrow is a brand new day, and that they are starting fresh! Tomorrow will always be a better day!

This also goes transcends into making mistakes academically. Many of my kiddos get nervous about learning new things (ESPECIALLY writing), and they hit a road block because they are afraid of not  doing something right. I try to make it a point to tell them that they are not going to be perfect readers and writers right away. Those things take time to learn! Just do your very best, and Mrs. Ingram will be so proud! I found that after I explained that concept to my kiddos, they were more creative and free in their writing. Did they make mistakes? Um, duh, of course! But they found joy in writing and reading, and I feel like one of the big things to teach kindergarteners is to love learning! Giving them a safe environment where they know that it is okay to make mistakes will open them up to being more creative!


Okay! These kiddos are five and six! It is okay for us to be silly together! In fact, it keeps us all sane if we have the freedom to be silly every once in a while. Tell a joke (they LOVE telling and hearing jokes), do a cartwheel in class, read books in a funny voice, sing their names like you are in an opera (better yet, have them sing with an opera voice...it is hysterical). I know it seems counter-intuitive, but if you have some silly time, they will be better focused during the day. I believe that being silly is therapeutic for them, and it helps to keep anxiety at bay. I also find that it is during those silly moments that you will bond with your kiddos! Silliness is REQUIRED in kindergarten, so have fun with it!


This is a biggie for our kinders because it is going to be much harder to ingrain this in the way they interact with one another if you do not begin this from the very beginning of kindergarten! I always explain to my kiddos at the beginning of the year that we are a family. A family loves and supports one another. We clap and cheer when someone does something well. We cheer people up when they are sad. We play with people when they are lonely. This is not easy to teach these little guys because they live in an egocentric world. One of the things I enjoy watching the most is how they learn to cheer for other people when they are successful. By the end of the year, I hear kids clapping for one another, I see kids telling each other "good job" and "you did awesome," when at the beginning of the year I would get pouts from kiddos when they didn't win. It is of VITAL importance to explicitly teach children what love and support looks like through modeling and pointing out supportive behavior! This is probably what I focus on the most during the year!


I was SO happy to see a few other people mention this as a great tip for kinder teachers, too! This is the MOST important thing we can do for our kiddos and their families! God has given us a gift and an ability to teach these little guys, and we have to remember who the glory goes back to. I find that I often use this as a last ditch effort when I don't know what to do, when this should be the very first thing I do. It is important to continue to pray for our kids to find peace during the school day. Pray that their parents will be everything they need them to be. I pray that God will have me be exactly what these kiddos NEED for me to be, and I pray that I can remain a light for the Kingdom of God in the classroom! We serve a Big God, and he always has a way of putting things in perfect perspective!

Now, head on over to Sharing Kindergarten to read tips from other kindergarten teachers!


Sharing Kindergarten

13 comments :

  1. I enjoyed reading your tips! Love the one about being silly so true!! Thanks for sharing:)

    Jill
    Chevron and Centers

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  2. I had a great time reading your advice!! I love your first tip about letting them know it's okay to make mistakes! They are always so shocked to learn that I make mistakes too!! Some of our mantras throughout the year are 'It's okay to make mistakes, that's why pencils have erasers1" and 'It's okay to try and make a mistake, but it's not okay not to try!' Thanks for sharing such great reminders!

    Warmest Wishes,
    Erin
    www.kinderdragons.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such great advice! I teach middle school, and your tips apply at every level! Thanks for sharing. 😜

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  4. I mentioned making mistakes too! My kiddos were such bigger risk takers when they saw that I made mistakes and owned up to them. They even started owning up as well. It was great!

    Laura
    Kinder Kraziness

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  5. Lauren - I love your tips!!! I really think your tip #3 is important. Classes spend so much time together and we really are like a family. It is so important for them to love and support one another. Thanks so much for sharing!
    ~Heather :)
    Recipe for Teaching

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  6. Oh my goodness I love that quote! I remember my best friend telling me my first year of teaching, "It's like babysitting and trying to get them to memorize the dictionary". haha

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  7. So many great tips! Love the tip about it being okay to make mistakes! That's when all the learning happens :) Thanks for sharing!
    Amber
    Mrs. Masters’ Kinder Love

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  8. Your tips are all right on spot! I love this linky because kindergarten really is a world of it's own. Your tip #3 has been a goal of mine all year but something my group really struggles with, especially with a lot of moving in and out of class. Lessons learned for next year though!
    Kayla
    The Chalkboard Garden

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